Steady Hands Eugene Emeralds Even Series Over Hops, 5-2
Steady hands never wavered for the Eugene Emeralds as they took the early lead kept the Hillsboro Hops at bay. The Ems took the game 5-2 and evened the six game series at three game apiece. The eventual game winner came in the first when Ismael Mungia doubled home Will Wilson and Tyler Fitzgeralds for an early 3-0 lead.
Ems Bring Steady Hands to the Mound
Eugene starter Caleb Kilian (W, 2-0) set the tone through the first five innings. Under his watch, Blake Alexander singled with two outs and stayed at first for the rest of the first inning. In the fourth, Spencer Brickhouse singled with two outs but no one else joined him on base. The Hops only had those two base runners during that time. The rest of the time, Ems home fans watched their starter fan seven strikeouts, induce four ground-outs and get four batters to pop up or flyout.
Hillsboro starter Drey Jameson managed to keep pace once he got past the first inning. Ismael Mungia singled and was left stranded in the fourth. Other than that, Jameson faced the minimum batters. But, like I hinted at earlier, the first inning was the problem for the Hops.
Steady Hands at the Plate
The bottom of the first led off with back-to-back singles from Patrick Bailey and Will Wilson. The scoring party had started. Diego Rincones sacrificed Bailey home with a fly to center. Ismael Mungia doubled home Wilson and Tyler Fitzgerald. The three run lead would be enough but the Ems were not done.
Sean Roby came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth after the Hops cut the lead 3-2 in the sixth. With no outs in the innings, he saw an easy insurance run standing at third needing a sacrifice fly. The ball sailed to right fielder Cam Coursey and Patrick Bailey trotted home. But, an errant throw from right field to the infield tempted Will Wilson, who took third on the throw-in, to continue all the way to home. The final score held up for the game, 5-2.
The Hops two runs ended Ems starter Caleb Kilian after a fine start. Kilian entered the sixth inning on 61 pitches. Leodany Perez led off with a single and Axel Andueza’s double brought Perez home all the way from third. Andueza took the opportunity on a wild pitch to join his teammate crossing the plate. After a walk, Nick Avila (H, 1) relieved Kilian with a 75 pitch count. Solomon Bates (H, 3) and John Russell (S, 1) stopped the small bleeding with steady hands of their own.
The win helped the Eugene Emeralds (8-4) keep pace with the league leading Everett Aquasox (10-2) at two games behind. The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (5-7) to five games in back of the lead. The six-game series ended with a tie at 3-3. Both teams will take Monday off. After that, both teams will start again with a new series of their own. Eugene will travel to Tri-City to play the Dust Devils while Hillsboro will come home to host their new roommates, the Vancouver Canadians. To catch up on how two teams are sharing the same stadium, check out my column on the new arrangement.
Look for my next column Tuesday morning where I take a look at the Hops second week of the season along with the story on Corbin Carroll’s season ending injury. Meanwhile, follow me on twitter for half inning updates of the home games that start again next Tuesday evening.